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24 September 2014

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You are in: Manchester > Sport > Rugby League > Lindsay: "I have run my race"

Wigan Warriors chairman Maurice Lindsay

Wigan Warriors chairman Maurice Lindsay

Lindsay: "I have run my race"

The outgoing Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay says that while he’s sad to say farewell to his beloved Warriors, his departure is the right thing for both him and the club.

Maurice Lindsay

- Under Maurice's two spells at Wigan (1979-1996 and 1999-present), the Warriors have won three World Club Championships, eight League Championships, ten Challenge Cups, eigh regal Trophies, five Charity Shields, five Lancashire Cups, one Rugby League World Sevens, one Middlesex Rugby Union Sevens and the BBC Sports Team of the Year
- He helped Wigan become the first fully professional rugby league club
- From 1996-99, Maurice was chairman of the Rugby Football League and is the man who came up with the idea for Super League
- He spent five years as manager of the Great Britain side

Discussing his reasons for stepping down with BBC Radio Manchester’s Delyth Lloyd, Maurice said it’s simply that he "can't go on forever," though the Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Catalan Dragons meant he wanted to step down sooner, rather than later.

"As I've said to everyone, I am 66 years of age. I've been running the place almost single-handedly. Also, the sadness of not delivering a win [in the Challenge Cup] to the fans to get them to Wembley emotionally affected me as well, but I probably would have stepped down at the end of the season anyway.

"I honestly do feel that I have run my race. Someone said that I have been involved 31 finals since I've been at the club, which is astonishing.

"But I want to do the right thing for the club, someone has to take it on for the next ten years and I just don't have the energy or the time in life to do that. It needs someone who comes in as I came in, when I was in my thirties, to take it on.

"I honestly do feel that I have run my race. Someone said that I have been involved 31 finals since I've been at the club, which is astonishing."

Maurice Lindsay considers his time at Wigan

"I remember saying to a local journalist in my first year, 'I'm going to make them a great club or die trying.' I've achieved the first part and I certainly don't want to achieve the second part."

"A magical time"

With such a long term in charge and so much success, Maurice Lindsay’s time at Wigan has been packed with memorable days, though for him one stands out above all the others.

"The 1985 Challenge Cup Final. The club hadn't won the cup since 1965 and the joke was going round town that they didn't know their way to Wembley anymore. So to win that one with over 100,000 people in the stadium and a thrilling match… it was a magical time and I'll never forget when that final whistle blew."

The future

Interestingly, the chairman also revealed that his retirement has made the owner of Wigan Warriors, Dave Whelan, consider his own position at the club.

Dave Whelan and Maurice Lindsay

Dave Whelan and Maurice Lindsay

"He doesn't want to take it [the chairman’s position] on. He's chairman of Wigan Athletic and that's a very demanding post, and I don't think he wants to rebuild his life as chairman of a rugby league club."

As for his own future plans, Maurice said he has no intention of retiring completely.

"Do I just mow the lawn? That’s not me. Everyone knows I've got quite a lot of energy and I'm very determined. I'll miss rugby league terribly. It's been my life; not just part of my life, it’s dominated it.

"But I honestly don't know. I think I'll have a bit of a break, the same way as Paul Jewell has, charge my batteries again and then hopefully come back and do something important."

last updated: 31/07/07

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